Spring Cleaning: Outdoor Gear

Its Spring cleaning time!!! I have the usual Spring cleaning of my house, the barn, the sheds and the chicken coop, but the one job that I try to focus on the most is going through our outdoor gear. It is a huge project because we spend most of our summer and a good portion of winter outside. March is the in-between timw because the snow is melting so no more winter sports and it is still too cold to go camping and hiking. Many items are being clearanced out, so it is a great time to re-stock. I also do this again in the fall when I pack the majority of our stuff up for the winter. Having everything organized at the beginning or end of the season helps you stay more organized, but also if you need to budget in an expense of replacing an item, you can.

We go tent camping, camper camping, backpacking, fishing, hiking, kayaking, swimming, snowboarding, skiing, ice fishing, off-roading  and more. I don’t like surprises and I like to be prepared. It’s also nice to have everything ready to go because it makes things less stressful and quicker to get going on our adventures. Here are six tips for preparing for your outdoor adventures, in the Spring or Fall.

Pulling Things Out of Storage– Because we have four distinct seasons in Montana, we keep our winter gear separate from our summer gear. In the fall and spring, I take things out of storage or put them away. We have a specific closet for our gear. It’s not like I am going to use my snowboard when I go camping. It keep things from getting lost and less clutter. We also take the camper out of storage as well as the kayaks.

Check for Wear And Tear– I go through all of our items including clothing, equipment and accessories. I check all of our winter clothing to see if it will fit next year and for summer, I also check life jackets, swimsuits and hats. All of the fishing lines, cookware, straps on various things, backpacks and boxes and tackle are gone through and any tools we use. Any thing that is cannot be repaired is thrown out or recycled. I normally don’t upgrade anything unless it is broken beyond repair. You especially want to vigilant with safety items like harnesses, helmets, and things like that.

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Replenish or Replace– I go through everything and replenish stuff that we go through throughout the year. This includes things like trash bags, snack items, canned goods, tin foil, matches and anything else that we go through on a regular basis. I have a list of basic, storable food items that I keep in our packs, camping box and camper. Check expiration dates on food items.

Charge And Change Batteries– A lot of our stuff has batteries or solar chargers. I will charge anything that hasn’t been charged over the winter like walkie talkies or lamps, check batteries and replace as needed, and stock up on new batteries. I also make sure what needs to be charged, has the correct charger and can even be charged. Each year I have less and less use for batteries because we are slowly moving towards rechargeable or solar powered gear for almost everything. And because I only replace things when they break, it has been a slow process.

Cleaning Gear– Everything gets cleaned. I wash sleeping bags, clothing, backpacks and anything else washable. I wipe down all of our equipment and gear. The camper gets a thorough cleaning. I go through all of our packs and wash those as well. When things aren’t in use they collect dust and sometimes other things. No one wants to put on a hat that has a spider nest inside. (True story…)

New Purchases– So after I have cleaned and gone through everything, I make a list. Because there are five of us, some things we need duplicates. We each have our own sleeping bag, but we have only one cook stove and one tent, as an example. I do most of my shopping at the end of the season when things are being clearance out or I also look for sales. I rarely buy anything at full price and have even gotten some brand-new items second-hand. Check out this post on ways to find affordable outdoor gear. This also includes any sports stuff too.

What are some of the things you do to prepare for your outdoor adventures? Comment below. And as always, be outside with no limits. Love, Pauline